What Happened: The Russian government reportedly made a secret proposal to North Korea in the fall of 2018 to construct a nuclear power plant in the country in exchange for North Korea dismantling its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, The Washington Post reported Jan. 29, citing unnamed U.S. officials. The Russian envoy to North Korea, meanwhile, denied the report.
Why It Matters: Russia's alleged offer would imply attempts to insert itself into the negotiation process over North Korea's nuclear program. U.S. President Donald Trump is slated to hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February.
Background: Kim placed a significant emphasis on rectifying North Korea's electricity problems during his New Year's speech. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov received a delegation from North Korea's Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Jan. 29.
North Korea: Russia Denies Report It Made Secret Offer To Build Nuke Plant for Pyongyang is republished with the permission of Stratfor Worldview, a geopolitical intelligence and advisory firm.